Monday, June 09, 2014

Dead reckoning

What is it about rich people and death? Put the average rich person together with a skull or a juicy nature morte or something dead and stuffed and you’re talking happy-rich-person #wildgeneralisation. Start with the never-blink gambler David Walsh in Tasmania. His MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) is dedicated to death as well as to sex as we have written about before. The place is full of the requisite skulls, skins, bones, carcasses, even a time of death wager. Plus there's always the offer of a final resting place for your ashes if you want to stump up for a handcrafted reliquary. And we have discovered what you can find in Tasmania you can see reflected in Berlin, or maybe it's the other way around. The modestly titled me Collectors Room (the me stands for moving energies which will surely come as a surprise to all the cynics out there) is in fact a substantial new building in the centre of Berlin. Its purpose is to display the works owned by another very rich collector, Thomas Olbricht, as well as his international collecting colleagues. With all this money sloshing around you've got an ideal seedbed for lots of death stuff especially in Olbricht's own Wunderkammer. Crucifixes and taxidermy and skeletons are front and centre. So here's an idea. ME and MONA. They’re rich, they're men, they're both deep into death, they should get together. It’s a partnership to die for.

Images: top, death wish at me. Middle and bottom MONA keyring and mummy merchandise